Friday, November 30, 2007

Having a pity party

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I outlined a rough draft of all my plans for the rest of the semester. For the first time since school started, I was ahead of the game. No more wild panicking on Sunday nights! No more cavalier dismissals of projects that could have been cool because I wouldn't have enough time to get my copies made! (I've read other teacherblogs where teachers complain about having to stand in line at the copy machine -- well, at my school, you have to get approval from an administrator before you can make copies, so you have to request all your copies at least two days ahead of time.)

Best of all, because I had oh-so-diligently done my planning already, I had a fabulous weekend planned out for myself. On Friday night, I was going to see Nicholas Kristof, my favorite New York Times columnist, lecture at the New York Public Library about conditions in Darfur. And on Saturday, I was taking a "chocolate excursion" over the Brooklyn Bridge to Jacques Torres Chocolate in DUMBO. It was so exciting! I finally had it all together!

So what happened? Why am I posting this at 7:48 am instead of organizing my stuff to lug over to my first period kindergarten?

GERMS HAPPENED. Kindergarteners happened. Kindergarteners with their snotty hands and their noses full of mucus and their cough cough coughing right into the open air. At least when you're a classroom teacher, you're dealing with only one set. But in a given week, I see, give or take, 425 students. That's 425 sets of germs, and 850 little hands poking me in the back and giving me high fives and hugs. Not to mention that I take the bus and the subway twice a day each.

When I think of all the germy germs I must touch in one day, I shudder.

So I'm taking my first sick day. The miserable virus of death didn't fell me, and neither did complete laryngitis, but now I have been waylaid by the common cold. (Except that this cold isn't so common: my nose went from zero to raw in about one hour, and then I had to deal with endless observations about it from my first graders. "Miss Brave, your nose is really red! It's running a lot! Are you sick?")

I suppose I should be thankful that I caught a cold from my students instead of, say, the virus of the second grader who threw up in the hallway yesterday morning. (I came very narrowly close to stepping in it, thanks.) But when I return to school, I'm returning armed with more hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes, and Airborne than ever before.

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